For those who watch MSNBC, Frank Figliuzzi is a familiar face with a powerful intellect, plain common sense, and vast experience as a former deputy assistant director of the FBI for counter-intelligence. He is literally the man who headed up all espionage cases within the federal government and is now putting using those abilities in writing an article on MSNBC.com, which argues that the fact that a grand jury has been convened regarding Trump’s possession of classified files – some marked top-secret – is far more significant than the public seems to appreciate and poses the biggest immediate threat to Trump. In short, Figliuzzi says that the FBI would not convene a grand jury unless they thought they had a charge that could overcome all of Trump’s defenses and that it could be a charge that is as severe as it gets when it comes to intelligence, selling secrets.
Figliuzzi utilizes plane common sense in evaluating a sentence in the original New York Times article to state that it does not sound to him like a case where Trump can say that the boxes were mishandled by a staffer or a complete accident. No, these files seem to have always stuck very close to Trump, almost weirdly, impossible to ignore, like a truly personal possession:
A sentence in The New York Times story may shed some light on what the Justice Department may have: “The documents in question are believed to have been kept in the residence of the White House before they were boxed up and sent to Mar-a-Lago.” Fifteen boxes of classified documents sitting in the residential wing of the White House doesn’t sound like a mistake to me. That sounds deliberate and less like an error that could be attributed to staff. Virtually every day during my 25 years with the FBI, I handled classified information. It was my experience that staffers, whose job is to know and comply with the rules and regulations for handling such data, don’t deliberately break those rules unless someone at a high level makes them break those rules. That’s why I don’t believe this grand jury is targeting low-level staffers.
Trump kept these files in the residence of the White House? And then they went to Mar-a-Lago? That sounds a little like someone who had possession, but not ownership, of the crown jewels and tried to keep some as his own. Stealing jewels would be enraging, stealing secrets would be terrifying.
Figliuzzi then drops the hammer to affirm what many of us cynics have believed from the start:
As Justice Department investigators examine the documents, they’ll be able to see whether the contents held some value to Trump or those around him and possibly determine whether Trump could benefit from whatever’s in those documents. We mustn’t forget that during Trump’s term, his family members parlayed their relationship with him into personal profit and that while he was president, Trump’s own businesses reportedly raked in $2.4 billion.
An ex-president seeking to cash in on his presidency by selling United States secrets? Yes, that does sound like something that should be on our radar screens. It certainly doesn’t sound like a “step too far” for Trump. Indeed, it sounds closer to “situation normal.” The rules never applied to him. It was always Trump before the country. And, ultimately, everything got down to money. Try to imagine the damage he could do or has done.
It sounds best to take Figliuzzi’s word on this and watch this closely. One last thing to remember. Just because Figliuzzi is a “former” member of the FBI, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t talk to his former colleagues. They would be unlikely to share details with someone outside the agency, but former colleagues could very well say something as simple as “this is serious.” Something motivated Figliuzzi to pen the article.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.